Covid Status 26/04/2021
I became first interested in what became Covid-19 69 weeks ago, noticing a new respiratory illness being reported at the very end of 2019. By mid-January I realised that things were going wrong and nobody was taking it seriously, so it was very likely to arrive in our direction. In February-March it did.
We are in an interesting position in the UK at the moment, having vaccinated over 50% of the population with the current level of vaccines that are fairly effective against the majority variants that are common in the world. With the current numbers out there, this is a situation that should probably hold us in good stead for the rest of this year. But we cannot be complacent about this, always on the lookout for dangers that will almost certainly appear.
But with the numbers continuing in the world, given the numbers of major variants that have arisen, we can be pretty sure that in the near future a super variant or variants, are bound to occur. I would estimate that about 3% of the world’s population have become infected with the current variants and there are probably 5 major type of new type variants out there, most being of smaller modifications. World immunisation is around 11% so probably at best it could expand by as much as 10 times, at worst 30 times its current distribution. So far, 3% infection and maybe 9% current protection within a space of 16 months, so we’re probably looking at a decade to control. But the virus will probably be re-iterative and circle the world a number of times, probably taking as much as 5 years to do this, changing each time to evade protections, and skimming off the more people who become vulnerable and susceptible at each pass.
The Covid-19 virus is very similar to its predecessors, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome), that gave 10% and 30% mortality figures, but is much more infective. The mortality of Covid-19 is probably around 1.7% based on latest figures, but from recent variants that are occurring when there are large numbers of cases, we are finding more and more multiple variants that combine the worst characteristics of the breed, so it’s likely that something that is 50% more infective, 50% less affected by vaccines, and 50% more fatal will evolve in the next year.
We are starting to see re-infections taking place, but luckily the current variants are only minor differences, so current vaccines are only slowly losing ground, but as the numbers progress we will probably see higher distributions and that losing ground increasing in pace.
Like a number of countries who have gone in for testing their population big time, the UK has reported figures that are similar the world over, that when restricting, less than 5% of the population tests as having contracted the disease. If you take the maximums at the moment for cases, some populations have shown up to 17% infection levels through this, and still continuing to increase as if there was no limit, rather than acquiring anywhere near a ‘herd immunity’ level, so we probably have a way to go whatever the non-evidence supported claims are. Our vaccines should give us a lot of protection, but signs are appearing that this is quickly being eroded away as new variants appear.
One of the key areas where the virus has shown greater variation is as expected in India. I was wondering why given the numbers this had not already taken place, now is has, and will probably get worse. Brazil, another country with large numbers has already produced worrying variants, and Tanzania’s seem to be further and even more worrying news.
How does this apply to UK businesses? As said above, we will probably weather this better than most as long as we keep up with producing new and updated vaccines that cover the emerging variants, but many countries that have been slower will have major problems, so exporting abroad is going to become even more hazardous. Some countries have relied purely on restriction and separation rather than immunisation, curtailing their trade, but it’s likely that they will eventually need to immunise all their populations quite quickly or suffer the consequences of the virus suddenly arriving and bad variants going like wildfire through their populations. Not being in contact with a virus and not immunising gives no herd immunity, it’s just a delaying tactic, most countries strong enough to put their trade on hold, but overall trade being depressed and damaged into non-existence, lifestyles no longer being sustainable.
If things don’t change in the world the UK will need to build up businesses to weather the impending new storms, probably next year that show all signs of even being worse than the past two. Things are only probably getting started as far as the virus goes.
There are already signs of vaccine nationalism, with agreed contracts being overturned in favour of later local ones by governments and ruling organisations that protect the people in the areas the vaccines are manufactured. Laws including business ones are being overruled, grabbing not just a proportion, but all shares of agreed production by various government agencies, abusing special powers they have been hastily given. The UK would be well advised to make sure that raw materials and local to the UK production of vaccines are arranged in the brief time, probably 4-8 months respite that we will have from widespread immunisation in this country, as I think it likely that new laws, rules, and demands from those same organisations will likely deny all fair claims but of those being in their economic cartel.
In times like this it would also be advisable to ramp up defensive and protective units, as this could very well provoke acts of armed aggression and increasing demands aimed at non-sovereign, non-cooperating, or non-cartel countries.
I think with the numbers that are present and are going to be present in the world we have probably not even seen a fraction of Covid’s capabilities. We still come back to what was called the Spanish Flu of 1918. Not a Coronavirus, but probably H1N! Influenza, variants causing problems early on, and seemed it originally targeted people as was normally found with the flu. Then a variant came out that targeted those with a good immune response, the young and healthy. It’s not automatic that this will happen with a widespread virus, but it’s likely that the concealment of the outbreak by governments and media was directly responsible for the massive death toll. Without it the death toll would probably have been a fraction of what it was, killing more of their own people than the opposing armies.
Some may say it’s happened again in the world.